EXCLUSIVE: 'Make America Great Again' hats bring big business for Louisiana company
LAFAYETTE - It was the fashion of the campaign; a red sea of "Make America Great Again" hats could always be found at every rally for now-President Donald Trump.
But did you know the heart of the operation to get those hats and other gear to supporters was located right here in Louisiana?
"This is the signature hat that we made hundreds of thousands of," Ace Specialties CEO Christl Mahfouz proudly explained. "It is proudly made her in the USA, of Cali Fame in California."
Ace Specialties packaged, taped and shipped thousands of boxes throughout the campaign. They are the only official distributor of the Donald J. Trump for President Store in the entire country.
Orders come in online by the dozens. Four big trucks are filled every day, working exclusively with the U.S. Postal Service.
With nearly a million of the hats distributed so far, the "Trump" swag has been a real boom for business in the Lafayette area. The company went from a staff of 10 employees in 2015 to 40 during the election season.
"We've been able to provide jobs for those who have lost their jobs in the oil field," Mahfouz explained.
Aside from supporting President Trump's merchandise, Mahfouz said she also supports him as a leader.
"I think what it shows is that Americans truly believe," she said, "and truly want to see a difference in this country. And everyone does want to make America great again, and by buying the hat and seeing the hat, it helps get that message out there."
It was not easy for the company to get the rights to distribute the gear. Mahfouz had to travel to New York and make the pitch in person to the main man himself.
"He's a great person," Mahfouz said of President Trump. "He's really down to earth. I was not nervous at all, I figured I might have been. He was just very straightforward and asked how quickly we could get this done. And I said 'give me a week,' and that's all it took."
Mahfouz said they have so many orders, they expect to stay busy for at least the next four years.